Friday, July 16, 2010

A well played endgame.

In recent posts we have had mentions of the donut hole, end games, and George Steinbrenner, so it is interesting to note:

George Steinbrenner came to his end in the estate tax donut hole of 2010 -

in 2009 the estate tax was 45% and

in 2011 it will be 55%,

but this year it is 0%,

saving his heirs about 1/2 billion dollars in taxes.

His final move

2010. George h8 / $500, 000.

was well timed.


NYT July 15, 2010
...George Steinbrenner left the world stage with a great sense of timing, too.

By dying in 2010, the billionaire and long-time New York Yankees owner’s wealth avoids the federal estate tax, which could save his heirs enough money to field an entire team of Alex Rodriguezes, The Associated Press reported.

Mr. Steinbrenner’s death of a heart attack at the age of 80 on Tuesday came during an unplanned yearlong gap in the estate tax, the first since it was enacted in 1916. Political wrangling has stalemated efforts in Congress to replace the tax that expired in 2009.

That deprives the government of billions of dollars in annual revenue, but represents an unexpected bonanza for those who inherit wealth.

”If you’re super-wealthy, it’s a good year to die,” Jack Nuckolls, a lawyer and estate planner with the accounting firm BDO Seidman, told the news service. ”It really is.”

Forbes magazine has estimated Mr. Steinbrenner’s estate at $1.1 billion. The federal estate tax in 2009 was 45 percent, with the $3.5 million per-person exemption. If he had died last year, his estate could have faced federal taxes of almost $500 million, depending on how the estate was structured. The estate tax for 2011 is scheduled to be 55%.

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